From my window I watch boys with guns

close in around my neighbor's son,

who is out of ammunition.

The tulips have a front row seat

and in the upper deck a circling hawk carves

a noose into onion-skinned noon.

The boy's game circles too—a loop of shooting

falling and rising to shoot and fall again.

At thirty-eight, my warrior-self funneled

into fatherhood and work, I wouldn't play,

besides I seek more delicate reminders

of death, such as this desk lamp, whose clear

glass body holds a dead bouquet,

brown and white petals that look alive

when I tug a little brass chain. Click.

And just like that the world opens

for two women who rent the house next door,

allowing them to claim a dainty patch of grass

no larger than a parking space, spread towels

on the lawn, strip to bathing suits. Still winter-white,

their bodies enter like meteors, striking

the game's axis, altering its gravitational constant.

The boys stop pretending as if halted

by the whistle of a sympathetic referee

who has called time-out for them to scoop

a few oily dollops of pleasure from bodies

warmed by the same sun that warmed Plato

as he measured men against gods and found the difference

slim enough to overcome with a definition of Eros

void of lust, which his pupils forgot

as they raced down the Athenian hill,

past olive groves and date palms, beyond shrines

to muses, sticks in hand.